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Acer Aspire M1640 Freezes on boot up

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I have an Acer Aspire M1640 desktop that would not boot up, I have tried a different Processor which seems to work but was unable to read anything on the hard drive. I have since got another hard drive and windows 7 to install as an operating system but the machine still does not boot.

With the windows 7 disk in it starts to boot as if installing Windows. Gets to the screen saying installing then the machine just freezes at this point. What I have noticed is that it is at the exact point that the machine appears to be doing another sort of hardware check, i.e. the lights on the PCI-wireless card flash, the num-, caps- and scroll-lock buttons on the keyboard flash. It at this instant that the bar just stops moving and I can leave the machine there indefinitely.

Although I can access the advanced boot menu, the machine will not start in safemode. (stops on disk.sys now, although I think it may have stopped on a different .sys earlier)

This is the same thing that was happening earlier.

Although it didn't seem to be caused by any of the following, I tried these process-of-elimination type steps (attemped one at a time)
1- Cleared the CMOS
2- Took out the HDD, plugged in another, attempted to boot to recovery CDs
3- Completely removed all HDDs, tried booting to Recovery CDs
4- Removed hardware such as the aforementioned PCI-Wiress Card, DVD-RW, and tried to boot off the hard drive
5- Removed the arbitrarily named memory stick 2, then stick 1 and then used both one at a time in the different physical slots on the board; tried booting off both disks and HDD

Any help appreciated as Acer want an arm and a leg!
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